Solar powered shea processing for women cooperative
In collaboration with Agriterra, FRES and Yeelen Ba are developing a solar-powered shea nut processing center for a women cooperative in the village of Koutoura in Burkina Faso fully tailored and designed around their demands. The project was kicked of on 15 and 16 March 2020 with a workshop with members of the cooperative to identify their needs. The platform will be operational before the shea season in September 2022.
The Koutoura women group are part of Sowdjoma, a shea butter producing cooperative union serving 950 women farmers. Sowdjoma intends to build five decentralised pre-processing centres over the next 5 years, however targeted locations lack access to electricity. The FRES project will be part of Sowdjoma’s expansion plan with the aim of providing power at the production centres.
The power will be used for the pre-treatment phase of shea butter production i.e. boiling, deshelling, drying and roasting as well as other agro-activities such as irrigation and milling.
The center will be powered by a microgrid, owned and managed by Yeelen Ba under a fee-for-service model. Sowdjoma’s cooperative member structure will enable year-round use of the solar power and the payment of the fees by shea farmers and other productive users of electricity. The agro-processing centre will be fitted with agro-equipment and ownership will be transferred to Sowdjoma via a rent-to-buy scheme upon completion of payment. Funding is provided by PREO.